The village of West Wemyss began as a settlement around the site of Wemyss Castle which developed into a centre for the salt industry in the area. A harbour was later built in 1621 by the Wemyss family for the use of coal exportation from the pits on the lands of their estate. The harbour would become a major export harbour for coal by the late 17th century. The ships brought back imports of wood, iron and flax from the Baltic Countries. A wet dock was added for the increased demand of the coal in the 1870s. Towards the latter stages of the 19th century, the village adapted to coal being surrounded by several mines – such as the Michael Pit in nearby East Wemyss. The industry which saw trade being dealt in England and within The Low Countries, started to struggle once the new docks were opened in Methil. Gradually, the demand for the harbour began to fall into decline. Today, the harbour has since been filled in and part of the old village being restored. The village has become a conservation area with many attractive buildings.

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